PDL BioPharma CEO Mark McDade to Resign, Company to Restructure

PDL BioPharma (Fremont, CA), has announced that three-month internal investigation of the company's chief executive officer (CEO), Mark McDade, found no credible evidence to substantiate the allegations made by shareholders.

PDL BioPharma (Fremont, CA), has announced that a three-month internal investigation of the company's chief executive officer (CEO), Mark McDade, found no credible evidence to substantiate the allegations made by shareholders. Nonetheless, the company has said McDade has decided to step down as CEO and member of the board by the end of 2007 due to the personal toll created by the rumors and investigation. The company's board of directors will initiate a CEO search immediately. Until the appointment of a new CEO, L. Patrick Gage, PhD, will assume the role of executive chairman.

The investigation of McDade determined that there was no credible evidence of a conflict of interest relating to an alleged relationship between McDade and another officer of the company, that there was no breach of a fiduciary duty by McDade with respect to an alleged offer (or indication of serious interest) from a pharmaceutical company to acquire PDL, and that McDade did not improperly withhold information from the board with respect to this alleged offer, and that no offer was in fact ever made by the named pharmaceutical company.

On the heels of this announcement, PDL has also announced a significant strategic change to focus the company on the discovery and development of novel antibodies in oncology and select immunological diseases. As a result of its new strategic focus, which does not include cardiovascular disease, PDL plans to sell its commercial assets, including its Cardene, Retavase, and IV Busulfex products, as well as the ularitide development-stage cardiovascular product. The company has also decided to terminate the Nuvion (visilizumab) phase 3 program in ulcerative colitis due to insufficient efficacy and an inferior safety profile in the visilizumab arm compared to IV steroids alone. The company plans to realign its organization to support its new strategy.